Judge John J. Irwin Jr., former director of the Suffolk Law Macaronis institute for Trial and Appellate Advocacy and former Massachusetts chief judge for administration and management, died December 25, 2008. He was 78.
“For nine years, Judge Irwin tirelessly served the Suffolk community, raising the profile of the Macaronis institute and advancing its mission to offer specialized programs to both law students and practicing attorneys,” said Suffolk University president David Sargent.
Irwin became director of the Macaronis institute when it was first founded in 1998, its mission to provide specialized programs for practicing attorneys and law students on trial and appellate advocacy. He also taught Criminal Law, Evidence, and Constitutional Law at Suffolk Law. He retired as director of the institute in 2007.
After graduating from Boston College in 1952, Irwin served in the Army Counter intelligence Corps and in an Army detachment in Germany. Upon re-turning to the U.S., he attended Boston College Law School, graduating in 1957. He then served as an assistant district attorney and first assistant district attorney in Middlesex County. Among his most famous cases was prosecuting Albert DeSalvo, the Boston Strangler.
In 1970, he became chief of the criminal bureau in the office of the Massachusetts Attorney General for six years, setting investigative policy. He was appointed to the Massachusetts Superior Court in 1976 by Governor Michael S. Dukakis and, in 1977, was a finalist on President Jimmy Carter’s short list for director of the Federal Bureau of investigation.
In 1993, Irwin was appointed chief justice of the Superior Court. The following year, he was appointed chief justice for administration and management, overseeing all Massachusetts trial courts and working in conjunction with the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and Massachusetts Appeals Court.
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